Either an invite has been sent or a place booked on an island in the waters in between Ohio and Canada. Reservations are the first priority to tackle when taking on the remote island system inaccessible via car.
I added swimwear and several pairs of sandals (flip-flops) and workout gear. The mercury can fluctuate anywhere between 55° and 95°. Suggestion: pack a pair of sturdy Key West Kinos and, or, starfish sandals by Kirsten’s Kloset from DK’s Style Hut. Dancing is highly likely. Flip-flops fall apart.
Guys, this is the perfect opportunity to wear a flashy, collared button-down shirt depicting your tourist-like, under-the-radar status.
Go Tommy Bahama or opt for any loose clothing depicting your sailing adventures.
(Call 863-216-5744 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. to order your Fla Turnpike shirt. Visit Florida Marina Clubs here.) The idea is to leave the Tribe, Browns, and Cavs gear where it belongs for this soiree. Live the island life.
Line the bottom of your tote bag, or suitcase with the shoes.
Place these bags and hair essentials such as a hairdryer, straightener, or curling iron on top.
For the ladies, in an oversized tote like this white-zippered Style and Co. Purse from Macy’s first slide in a notebook computer (if you plan to work. Internet service is unpredictable.) Then a rolled up bath towel, toiletry case, make-up bag and a clutch containing driver’s license, debit and credit cards, business cards and cash.
Remember if a car isn’t being taken onto a ferry, or a personal boat isn’t available to load all of your weekend gear onto, each person is responsible for carrying the clothing from the parking lot, to the ferry, onto the shuttle, and to accommodations.
For the gentlemen, have a watercraft stocked with Cruzan or El Kraken Spiced Rum, beer and limes.
There’s an awakening on State Route 51 east of Toledo and west of the Lake Erie Islands in a rural community called Genoa. An RN, and mother, experienced what she describes as a Lakshmi moment and is in the process of developing 33-acres of the family farm into a plot of land that promises healing with a yoga studio and future plans for composting and organic vegetables. On this International Yoga Day we are given a glimpse at how the comics are coming into alignment.
“My husband’s family farms and they wanted to ensure businesses and industry aren’t going up across the street where their grandson is growing up,” owner Heather Zeller explains.
The yoga property sits on 500-acres and students can delight themselves with wildlife sightings as they become ever the more mindful with mantras. On this particular day we saw a groundhog and rabbit scamper by.
Colored squares of fabric showcased above the statue outline the seven chakras. In the Indian culture they believe these are spiritual power points through which our energy flows.
“Just coming onto the property promotes a feeling of serenity,” Zeller outlines. “It’s really hard to be here and not be connected with nature. That alone starts to put you into that meditative mindset. It’s also a lot different than walking onto a yoga studio in a busy shopping center situated between a hair salon and a movie theater. I’m not knocking that experience. It’s great to have yoga everywhere. This is an opportunity to bring people into a rural setting to integrate their practice with nature that takes us to the next level.”
Zeller the Visionary
Heather Zeller is a petite nurse by day and lifelong student. She works as an Registered Nurse and has about two decades of experience in mental and psychiatric nursing. She also works with women in addiction recovery at an alcohol and drug treatment center offering metaphysical counseling, reiki and hypnotherapy.
On the day we gathered material she appeared utterly and effortlessly comfortable in her long, black patterned yoga pants, Flashdance-style one-shoulder marbled top and with Mala Tulsi beads draped loosely around her neck hanging down to her sternum.
“The bindi shows that as a yogini I am seeing life from a spiritual perspective. I’m committed to a path of dharma,” she clarifies from her space on the red yoga mat.
More tattoos sprawl from her knuckles down her forearm and onto her collar bone to her back and beyond in what she refers to as her living sarcophagus.
“I equate this to what Egyptians do at the time of death. On their sarcophagus there would be different pictures of their life and pictures of gods and goddesses and those pictures are what would carry them into the next life. For me every piece of art is connected to my spirituality and my journey; huge lessons, blessings and heartache,” Zeller speaks to what we can all relate to.
The Yogis and Yoginis
Dressed in purple yoga pants that resemble a constellation in the sky and black tank top with a Fitbit fastened to her wrist observers wouldn’t reckon Rebekah Schwab, a resident of Genoa, Ohio, is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran.
During boot camp she fell off of an obstacle course on Parris Island during boot camp and busted up the bone in her spine.
“My back injury has given me a curvature of my spine. Then this past April I felt the calling to work on inversions. I’ve been working on them for two months now and am getting back into alignment and finding that inner space space to connect. This is an onward journey,” Schwab supplies.
Her interest in the practice began in 2008. For the past two years she’s been showing up regularly on the mat and believes there is healing in the holistic practice.
“My friends told me I needed this and that’s when the practice clicked for me. This is a mind, spirit and body coming together in this healing atmosphere.”
Schwab is securing her education at Heidelberg University in Tiffan with a major in History and Minor in Archaeology. She is spiritual years beyond her young age having been raised in a Christian non-denominational home. There has always been a very spiritual aspect to her life. She was encouraged to study world religion and visit synagogues.
“This one reads, ‘I will go,'” Schwab describes what her ink illustrates, “every woman’s story in the bible she says to step out in your calling, to your dharma.”
She doesn’t know what career path she’ll take upon graduation, but is committed to becoming a certified instructor with hopes to hold a veterans’ yoga night.
Schwab is stoic, “all of us come back with turmoil from deployment or the transition of getting out and going in. Right now twenty-two veterans commit suicide per day. My hope is to give them a place of safety to connect with themselves and find a place of healing.”
Spouses will be encouraged to join with proceeds going to the 22 Foundation.
In this space do not be surprised for a twenty to thirty minute psychology session between you, Zeller and the other yogis and yoginis to take place. This given session equanimity, or the ability to hold even mindedness (peace) in all situations, was the core class focus.
Schwab shares her exploration into this, “this is fun to talk about because for the last two months I have started to practice. There’s something to learn here and I am going to go into this with grace and stay on an equal level.”
The practice may sound simple but in the world we are all constantly tested to hold our space, which is easy when practicing together with like-minded individuals where the energy field supports your own.
Enter Zeller, “the paradigm world doesn’t support this focus. The world is very materially focused and very egocentric. The small eye is ruling. We’re coming up against that energy. Whether we’re in a traffic jam, in a line at the store, or we’re dealing with family members. Our practice allows us to hold that space. We learn who we really are. We learn we don’t have to respond to all of the negative stimulus the way that we used to.”
She points out that if we begin to navigate our karma, even stressful periods can bear spiritual fruit and allow us to grow. This is more peaceful than trying to find a recipe to escape your destiny because of your own behavior. We are programmed to cling to past pleasure and pleasurable experiences as well as avoid those that are painful.
Yoga becomes tangible when students realize they can tap into a higher power that is within them and not an esoteric or abstract idea. Genetic programming can be changed by influencing the energy fields around us. We can turn proteins around us off and on by the foods we eat and mindfulness, or consciousness we practice.
“When were not in alignment,” Zeller expresses the rococo of yoga, “we are functioning from the reactive receiver. For most of our lives we have built our responses out of recreating pleasurable experiences or avoiding displeasureable experiences and people. If we are not present we are responding to every situation and not living in equanimity.”
Chanting positive mantras, exercising, eating clean unprocessed food and reacting to situations in a conscious state of mind versus using the subconscious wired with old reactive, negative programming are the main keys to building a positive well-being.
Zeller takes the class to Schedel Arboretum and Gardens in Elmore at 6:30 pm every Thursday evening. For other class times check the Mindbody ap or visit her on the web. See you on the mats!
Make sure you read the Forward for definitions of the complexity of this article. If you have a story idea you’d like to share, you can email her at email@example.com
I’m starting to break down the 33-acre energy field nestled on 500-acres of family farm on Route 51 on the Coastal Ohio Trail.
This location popped up on my iPhone6 screen with two taps of the MindBody app. I entered “Explore”, “Fitness”, then “Yoga”. The screen led me to Prajna Consciousness and after two attempts to locate the property on the west side outskirts of Genoa, Ohio, I knew there was a story.
A trip down the unpaved driveway leads visitors and yogis to their journey before they can put the car in park and turn the ignition off.
How fitting to work on this piece on June 21, 2016 International Yoga Day 2016.
Before we delve into the deep discussion of consciousness, energy fields, the students and the owner, Heather Zeller, I feel a lesson in the lingo of the land of yoga, Sanskrit, associated with the country of India dating back 6,000 years, is an absolute necessity.
Explains Zeller, “Sanskrit is the oldest language on the planet and is also based off of mathematics and vibration. The sounds are not necessarily based on phonics. There is an energetic principal that lies in Sanskrit.”
I felt her terminology, too, is necessary to expand on.
Prajna Consciousness Dictionary
Bhagavad Gita: a 700-verse Hindu scripture that presents the synthesis of the concept of Dharma. Ancient Indian text written between 400 and 200 BC as a guide to spiritual realization
Bindi: a red ornamental dot worn or tattooed in the center of a woman’s forehead between her eyebrows, most commonly in India, and is of vast importance reminding the self and others focus is on the spiritual journey versus the material connecting to the third-eye center
Dharma: law or doctrine of Buddhism that believes we are all subject to the principle of cosmic order
Divisa: Lord, God
Epigentics: belief we can change our genetic (DNA) programming based on our environment and energies we are attracting and projecting rather than being subject to creation programming via our conception
Equanimity: mental calmness and composure in a difficult, stressful, and or trying situation
Grunt: U.S. Marine Corp slang for Ground Unit
Jehovah Nissi: translation: the Lord is my banner
Jyotisha: the Hindu system of astrology to track and predict energetic movements with astrology
Karma: destiny or fate due to personal behavior and actions
Krishna: Lord God in the Bhagavad Gita, the embodiment of love and divine joy, born to establish the Religion of Love
Lakshmi: the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity and fortune, an active energy source and wife of Lord Vishnu
Mala Tulsi: equal to the Rosary beads of India, these wooden beaded necklaces are made with sacred wood of the Hindu religion and worn by yogis and yoginis for protection and to worship Vishnu, Krishna and Ram
Metaphysical Counseling: guidance from a higher source of power to guide us through life
Om: the sound of creation, known as the first sound in Sanskrit, belief we are aligning with and connecting with the highest part of our consciousness
Parris Island: site of Marine Corps boot camp training since 1915 located within Port Royal, South Carolina
POG Life: U.S. Marine Corps terminology meaning Person Other than Grunt
Reiki: a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being
Raga: personal impurity or fundamental of character
Rose of Sharon: first appears in English in 1611 in the King James Version of the Bible in Solomon Chapter 1 Verse 2 speaker says, “I am the Rose of Sharon, the lily of the valley”
Sarcophagus: from the Greek language defined as flesh-eating or outer layer of protection such as a coffin or decorated body art containing representations of the deceased
Shanti: Sankrit for peace
Song of Solomon: celebration of sexual love, two lovers praising and yearning for each other
Tuefel Hunden: motivational nickname in the U.s Marine Corps translated to Devil Dog
22 Foundation: Non-profit organization and suicide-prevention program designed for military and former military members and their families coping with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Military Sexual Trauma, and Combat Stress Reduction
Coming up on this International Yoga Day
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.” – Nikola Te …
I don’t have a Olan Mills-type Hallmark appropriate photo to share from the Father’s Day festivities 2016.
I attempted to take several pictures but they aren’t “postable” quality. Me and my Dad’s initial plans went something like this, “I’ll be out on the island so catch the ferry to Put-In-Bay. I’ll meet you for Mass at the Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church, we’ll have lunch then I have to return to another island and you can go to your sisters for a late lunch at three with everyone else.”
That suggestion soon changed and I was able to book a ferry ride with my car to the mainland and appear at my Dad’s sisters by six o’clock.
The day felt more like “spoil our cousin living on an island this summer” versus Father’s Day with the spread of food and delightful family atmosphere bonded by decades of sleepovers, celebrations, camp outs, hardships, babies, weddings, graduations, and endless parties from the Florida Keys to Marblehead.
Two people were missing from this summer Sunday Soiree nestled in the suburbs of Cleveland where the entire region awaited the eight o’clock hour to strike and for LeBron to take center stage in those Nikey high tops highlighted with a gold foil swoosh.
My older brother and his wife Kate. They stayed on the islands of the Florida Keys to work on a flooring project and shipped their two babies via Delta to Coastal Ohio for summer fun in tolerable sunshine.
Those babies are my two nephews, Joshua and Joseph.
They know me affectionately as their “Daddy’s baby sister.” The youngest, age three-and-a-half refused to acknowledge he is my baby nephew, but let me scoop him up in my arms anyway. The second, my brother and sister-in-law’s biological birth child didn’t let me touch him. No hugs were given. I was barely acknowledged.
This was, and has always been his MO, and I was familiar with his boundaries. He knows I was there in the hospital the day he was born, on a remote tropical island fifteen-hundred miles away from family with just enough civilization to keep one sane and entertained. On this day, he watched intently as the little girls in the family ran up to me to be held and kissed, basking in the glory of abundant love.
Sooner than usual, the boundaries relaxed a little. I reminded myself they had traveled across the country and then, across the state for this Father’s Day 2016.
Josh played outside with his cousins and accumulated enough dirt on his gigantic bare feet and under his toenails to serve as a reminder we had a Tom Sawyer-type soul on our hands. A boy accustomed to exploring, travel, and adventure.
In the blink of an eye and one dessert plate later, tears were in his eyes, blood ran from his fingers and he stood wailing with a black Raskullz helmet on his head. He had smashed his fingers in the garage trying to extract a scooter and tore the skin from his growing fingers fashioned in the exact same shape as his mother’s. A DNA wonder I noticed as soon as he was wheeled into a room for me and my brother to see. I ran to him to scoop him up and couldn’t lift him. I recalled the times my older brother would yell at me, “Josie, you need to go work. Go collect!” he was ready to strangle me.
Then would question me, “Are you going to work today?”
I no longer had interest in making money. The appeal of anchoring the evening news had lost all of its luster once the life of my little nephew was confirmed.
I knew the time would come where I couldn’t scoop him up. He’d be too big.
So, I walked him into the bathroom. Rinsed his fingers. He screamed and shaked his hands, the helmet remained on his head adding to the intense drama including blood that had splattered all over his khaki shorts. We were joined by my Dad’s sister’s little girl, and her older brother’s littlest girl. There in the bathroom I sat on the toilet and pulled Joshua onto my lap. My cousin comforted him and doctored the wound with two neon green Band-aids. We wiped the tears.
The moments are nothing resembling an Olan Mills quality. They’re real.
On this Father’s Day 2016 I can say that my brother is a dream many wed and unwed women yearn for. I watch him be a role model for all of the other males on a tiny island somewhere between Miami and Key West. I watch him go without so his wife and children can have everything. I listen to him reason and sway unreasonable children. I’ve heard him get up in the middle of the night, again and again and again to comfort his crying boys. He knows how to shower, diaper, dress, potty-train, educate and love them. He is always home for dinner and there’s always a three-course meal on the table. One of the boys is adopted. He too was clearly formed in the womb to be part of our family.
My older brother’s employees adore him, the community rallies around him and he always makes sure everyone gets paid.
“Everyone always gets a paycheck,” seven-year old Joshua Koler triumphantly relayed to me. “There isn’t anything more my Daddy loves to do than give everyone a paycheck.”
Thanks Jason. For giving men everywhere a business manager, father, husband and brother to look up to. Happy Father’s Day to you. We love you, Kate and the baby nephews.
Condo 106 at St. Hazards Resort on Middle Bass Island is a sweet spot for a weekend getaway. Or, stay for the entire week. Travelers will be basking by the pool with a homemade lemonade or ice tea in their hand after realizing the glory of the godsend that these accommodations are on an island extremely difficult to access.
Booking a place to stay on the Lake Erie Islands isn’t exactly as easy as calling the Kimberly Hotel in New York City with dates and arrival times. The islands nestled between Ohio’s coastline and Canada are only open from May through September and then again for ice fishing season. Finding, calling and making that connection for a legitimate booking is a lot of work.
Let go of using the leafy greens for just a slight moment as a salad base.
Instead open up a can of garbanzo beans.
This recipe, a variation from allrecipes.com, can actually be eaten by one person as an entire meal, or just double the portions and serve alongside a main dish.
Garbanzo beans, or chickpeas, are a legume and the USDA recommends we consume at least three cups per week. They’re chock full of folate, manganese, protein and copper. Iron and magnesium intake also gain check marks from the flavorful chickpea. Two cups of garbanzo beans contain the daily recommended intake of fiber, creating a fullness effect.
Here is what you need.
1 Can of Garbanzo Beans
10 Cherry Tomatoes
1/4 Cup of Chopped Red Onion
1/2 – 1 ounce of Feta Cheese
1 Diced Garlic Clove
Ground Sea Salt
Italian Dressing or Seasoning
Open the can of garbanzo beans, rinse, and place in a bowl. Cut the tomatoes in half, and add in the chopped onion, garlic and Feta cheese. Squeeze the juice from the lemon onto the ingredients. Either sprinkle with Italian seasoning and stir in Sunflower oil and sea salt until desired taste is reached or use about 1/8 cup of Italian dressing.
Spanish explorers spread the taste of the buttery bean after Middle Eastern cultures began to cultivate them around 3,000 B.C. The benefits of the garbanzo bean are boundless and have proven to lower cholesterol.
If you prefer, add a cucumber then chill for 30 minutes to two hours before stirring and serving. When prep time doesn’t involve cooking the taste is simply stunning when summer is a couple days away.
If you prefer to use dried Chickpeas. Pre-soak in three times of the amount of water. Boil for two minutes, remove from heat, cover, and allow to stand for four hours. This reduces the oligosaccharides, which is Greek for simple sugars, or carbohydrates, and also chances for gas or bloating after or during digestion. Dried chickpeas are a more natural and healthy option.
Whichever packaged bean you choose, either is the base to shake up a summer salad.
“We raised them all the time as kids. Fed them canned dog food with tweezers,” admits Theresa Davis-Logan with liveliness as she recalls her memories growing up on the east side of Elmore, Ohio on her parents’ sprawling two-hundred-plus acre farm.
A life of luxury on the Coastal Ohio trail translates into a lot of land often crawling with critters. According to a representative at Nature’s Nursery, a non-profit wildlife rehabilitation center licensed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife, residents can raise Starlings and Sparrows because they are an invasive species.
Keeping any other bird, bunny, duck, goose, squirrel or raccoon as a playful pet is illegal. Plus, any person thinking this is the compassionate and correct route to take are actually causing a commotion.
“That man I was speaking with on the phone has had a baby bird for two weeks now. The animal goes to work with him, flies around and poops everywhere. He doesn’t know how to get this bird to eat on its own. He won’t bring the bird in and asked if he could come and visit (if he did),” Cathy Hall, an operations coordinator at Nature’s Nursery in Waterville Township explains her exasperation with one man and his new feathered friend.
The bird, which has yet to be identified needs to be among birds.
“The bird needs to learn how to be a bird. How to find its own food and then be released back into the wild,” Hall supplies the appropriate stages.
This one is now being kept as a pet at a home off of Central Avenue in the city. Residents like this caller across the northwest Coastal Ohio region raising wildlife babies don’t always have access to the correct care. Each species needs a specially formulated formula. Google isn’t a great source for care information, or unfortunately, employees at a local pet store who often mistakenly suggest and sell kitten milk to nourish nature’s wonder.
“Then we end up with a caller saying, ‘I found a nest of bunnies last week and now they’re all dying,'” supplies Hall.
Today, Hall and the Nature’s Nursery staff had a Painted Turtle struck by a vehicle and a Groundhog discovered trapped and in distress both brought in for care. She reminds residents this is a busy baby season and to call if you come across any of these situations, especially with birds. Baby mammals can’t regulate their own body heat. According to Hall birds can also bond. Having a bird friendly with family also means it won’t fear the the neighborhood cat.
“We gotta keep’em warm and we gotta’ keep them hydrated,” Hall indicates from her desk. The Starling brought in will be fed puppy chow soaked in water. That is another key point. Birds cannot have liquids which can go into airways and drown the baby.”
Nature’s Nursery is located in Waterville Township. Call the hotline at 419-877-0060 or email to set up an immediate appointment time to bring in the baby, babies, or injured adult. Castalia, Ohio hosts Back to the Wild. Their phone number is 419-684-9539. As of this date Nature’s Nursery has already taken in one-thousand animals at its location at Blue Creek Parks. The baby Starling will be heated, fed soaked puppy food and placed amongst a nest of baby Sparrows.
“They are so fun! We had two sparrows, peepers, and cheepers!” Davis-Logan laughs.
There isn’t anything glamorous about a nest of babies about to take their last breath because correct care wasn’t administered.
Nature’s Nursery is part of Blue Creek Conservation area and is home to a resident coyote. Representatives will be available tomorrow, June 5 from 1 – 4 pm at the Toledo Botanical Garden’s Wildlife Festival.
The last time I was asked if I had any request from the grocery store my reply was, “Yes! Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa Powder from the baking section.”
I’ve become smitten making anything and everything made sweet with that unsweetened staple. The powdery product is so potent with caffeine after consuming just half of a teaspoon in any fashion makes me feel as though I just threw back three shots of bucci and have the energy to walk a puppy, clean the house and write a fluffy dining feature about whatever strikes my fancy. Enjoy an extra kick if you chase one of these magic Mounds Candy Bar-like concoctions with the Cuban espresso.
Mounds, made by Hershey’s for nearly one-century, consists of a “filling” made with shredded coconut enrobed in dark chocolate. The package contains about 260 calories, 30 grams of carbohydrates and 10 milligrams of caffeine plus 24 grams of sugar. The processed sugar will undoubtedly give any overzealous eater enough power to swim like Diana Nyad through a pool of jellyfish and sharks before collapsing in a sugar coma on the nearest beach.
(You can read more about this determined woman here in my 2013 interview where she was pulled from the ocean while swimming the Florida Straights).
Back to the task at hand. Grab your favorite mixing bowl and first stir these ingredients together and microwave for 45 seconds.
1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
2 T of Dark Cocoa Powder
2 T of Water
3 T of Coconut Oil
1 Cup of Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup of Shredded Coconut
Pinch of Salt
1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla
1/3 Cup of Peanut Butter
Drop onto a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper in one-inch balls and sprinkle with more shredded coconut flakes. I used Bob’s Red Mill Unsweetened Shredded Coconut. The entire process takes about twelve minutes.
Just as Mounds was marketed in the 1970s as “Indescribably Delicious” these 2016 Cocoa Coconut No Bake drop cookies; an adaptation of the Minimalist Baker’s version, which contain almond milk instead of water, are made mainly with old-fashioned rolled oats. This batch in particular is laced with a powdered peanut butter to make them, once again, indescribably delicious.
For the next round I’m adding an ingredient to turn this healthy, heavenly treat into Almond Joy.